April 12, 2009
Here are excerpts of Times reviews, culled from key performances during Esa-Pekka Salonen's years leading the Phil: July 8, 1985 An oddball program performed with illuminating dash introduced the young Finnish conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, to Hollywood Bowl audiences at a preseason concert on Friday night.
October 15, 2007 |
Jean Sibelius -- who became the voice of his country perhaps to a greater degree than any other nationalistic composer ever has -- died of a stroke the last day of summer 1957, in a small artists' village 20 miles north of the Finnish capital, Helsinki.
January 20, 1996 |
If you're anxious for to shine in the high aesthetic line as a man of culture rare, You must get up all the germs of the transcendental terms, and plant them everywhere. Esa-Pekka Salonen and the L.A. Philharmonic embarked on a little adventure Thursday night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Ever eager to court new audiences, always delighted to explore untrodden paths, our intrepid guardians of musical virtue offered a world premiere. It wasn't your everyday garden-variety premiere.
April 12, 2009 |
In November 1984, a reserved, unknown, 26-year-old Finnish composer made his U.S. debut by conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He looked like a teenage movie star and tended to stare at his feet when he spoke in public. He was dynamic and startlingly confident on the podium, but, as he once put it, he was "absolutely not warm" by L.A. standards. In 1992, still baby-faced and matinee-idol material, he became the music director of the orchestra.
November 28, 1989 |
Forget the "designate" label in Esa-Pekka Salonen's title as music director-designate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Currently engrossed in 23 hours of rehearsals for Stravinsky's "Oedipus Rex," which opens in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Thursday, the 31-year-old conductor is putting in hours this week that hardly indicate his three-season tenure begins in 1992.
April 10, 2007 |
There was a love-fest Monday at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Calling it a "day of tremendous optimism and hope for the future," Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen introduced his successor, Gustavo Dudamel, at a news conference on the concert hall stage. "I wanted to be the one who hands over the baton to somebody wonderful, and the day has come," Salonen said.
October 30, 2007 |
The Los Angeles Philharmonic's "Sibelius Unbound" series began late last month with marvelously silly swans flapping through the finale of the triumphant Fifth Symphony. Seven symphonies, a string quartet and handful of symphonic poems later -- along with modern Finnish music and a Steven Stucky world premiere -- "Sibelius Unbound" ended again with the Fifth on Friday night. Sans swans. But not sans marvels or triumphs. The Fifth has a heroic ending.
November 18, 2009 |
From the house of the dead -- as I've heard the Metropolitan Opera grumpily described from time to time -- comes a great "From the House of the Dead." OK, that's a cheap shot, but a company generally eager to please has finally tackled Janacek's last and least ingratiating opera, with the acclaimed French theater, film and sometimes opera director Patrice Chereau and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen making their Met debuts. The result is an unusually uncompromising artistic triumph for the Met and a surprising hit. For 90 transfixing minutes Monday night, at the second of seven performances (running through Dec. 5)
February 17, 2010 |
Basking in the popularity of Gustavo Dudamel, the Los Angeles Philharmonic used an online press conference Tuesday morning to announce that that -- unlike most recession-weary arts organizations -- it will hold the course. The orchestra's 2010-11 season and the Venezuelan's second as music director will include 12 subscription weeks conducted by Dudamel at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the return of Esa-Pekka Salonen and the premieres of 19 new works, 12 commissioned by the Philharmonic.
January 10, 2010 |
The dominant theme in the 2010 musical performance landscape is the Frederic Chopin bicentennial. More than 2,000 worldwide events will honor the beloved Polish composer and his elegiac piano scores. Chopin festivals abound seemingly everywhere: London, Rome, Buenos Aires, Tel Aviv, New York, Miami, Tucson -- well, you get the landscape. Look further and there's a lot of supreme stuff to experience in the coming year. Locally, the main event is Los Angeles Opera's "Ring Cycle" in May and June.